House numbers in gold leaf are very traditional & very London, especially in West London. Its just that add of finesse to the dream property that has been worked so hard for, so adding that bit of classy presentation is like the icing on the cake.
This property was just that. It had been superbly refurbished inside to a high spec & the owners had some lovely furniture being added. The finishing touch was adding 23ct gold to the entrance to be lit by the ornate vintage lamp.
The first stage when producing gold leaf house numbers is to give the transom or fanlight window a good surgical clean. This allows the gold to apply cleanly & ensure no dirt or existing marks are stuck within the numbers.
The house numbers are drawn out in a marking out pencil & measured into the centre & sized to suit the window frame. A specialist signwriter brush is then used to paint the outlines of the numbers. A different size brush is then used to paint the drop shadow in a few strokes, not by ‘colouring in’. The smoother the paint can be applied the better as it will dry quicker & obviously look more asthetically appealing.
Once the black paint has dried to the touch, the size can be applied to the house number centres. This is basically the glue for the gold leaf to stick to.
The size gives a slightly frosted or jelly look. Just as the size goes tacky the gold leaf is applied to cover where the size has been painted.
The gold always tears & sticks lightly to areas outside of where the size is applied. Thats no concern. You allow the gold to stick & the size harden. This can vary in time frame depending on the temperature of the glass & the weather conditions. It will dry a lot faster on a sunny warm day, but will struggle to dry on a cold frosty or damp day.
The gold is burnished smooth once the application is dried & then the excess is cleaned off. It cleans off quite easily as no size was applied to keep it stuck to the window. Once this is done & all is looking neat, then the final stage is to apply a varnish over the house numbers to ensure the gold & paint is protected from any window cleaning. The varnish hardens when cures & this means it won’t come away when wiped over, it actually requires a razor blade to scrape it off once it has cured, so it protects the gold & paint for years.
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